Miami Dolphins Lose: Hauntingly Familiar
A Lack of Sacks: Not so much "sack" as in "taking down the quarterback," but "sacks" as in "balls." As in, there are none to be found on this defensive line when sacking up is at a premium. Aside from Randy Starks and Cameron Wake, the Miami front seven was completely emasculated by the Patriot offensive line. When Tom Brady wasn't writing a thesis on David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest in the pocket, he was busy carving up the inexperienced Fins secondary, going 25 of 37 with 332 yards and a TD, hitting receivers in stride, converting 3rd downs and taking a pipe wrench to our collective clavicles. All thanks to a lack of pressure from the d-line.
It didn't help that the Fins were without Jason Ferguson and Channing Crowder (how crappy are things when we actually miss Channing Crowder?) At 34 it's a miracle Ferguson has gone this long without more injuries. And his absence just proves that Miami has to address the defensive tackle position soon (perhaps Alabama's Terrence Cody?).
And for all his ass-wrecking talk leading up to this game, Joey Porter finished the day with as many tackles as you. Call it age, call it good game-planning by the Pats, or call it simply a serious bout of The Suck, Joey Porter is a shell of his old self, and has been all season. Meanwhile, Jason Taylor didn't fair any better. Taylor, who's built a Hall of Fame career out of punching Tom Brady in the dick, finished the day with just two tackles and no sacks.
JT gets a reprieve because he's having an otherwise Pro Bowl caliber season. Porter, on the other hand, needs to go away. If Gregory Peck was the head coach of this team, he'd ask us to take Joey Porter to the back of the barn and put him out of his misery (Yearling reference!). It's time for Cameron Wake to get more playing time, and perhaps even start ahead of Peezey.
Receivers Who Have A Serious Receiving Problem: Is there anything more frustrating about this team right now than its receiving corps? It's a squad made up entirely of dudes who have had their hands surgically removed and replaced with ball-peen hammers. Continuing a season-long epidemic, with 3:05 left to play during the team's most crucial drive, Brian Hartline dropped a key pass that would've resulted in a big gain. Two plays later, Ted Ginn went all Ted Ginn on our asses and dropped another key pass. Greg Camarillo did manage to snag a spectacular one-handed catch for a 23-yard gain. But it was basically with zero seconds left in the game (sad trombone sound).
Chad Henne looked every bit the first-year starter with a group of hammer-hands for receivers. Henne finished the day going 19 of 34, for 219 yards and no touchdowns. And despite a brief memory-systems crash when he called for a timeout when the team had none left, The Robot looked as decent as expected when asked to have a shootout with Tom Brady. But when the other guy brings Randy Moss and Wes Welker into a fight, and all you have in your holster is a group of dudes with hammers for hands, you're going to lose that battle. Every time.
(But hey, Pat White ran the ball six times for 45 yards! Weeeee!!)